Brian Tracy Personal Time Management – Should I E-file My Taxes Online

Is e-filing a better way to record your taxes? 

Americans and the IRS may not agree on everything, but they’re largely on precisely the same page in regards to e-filing individual income tax returns.

The majority of individual income tax returns submitted to the IRS are e-filed.  E-filing is popular as it is a win-win for taxpayers and the IRS.

And in return, you could get any refund you’re owed faster, especially in the event that you have it directly deposited into your bank account.

However, what about security?  And can electronic filing actually provide you access to all the forms you might need in case you’ve got a complex tax situation?  Are there ever situations when you can not e-file?  Let’s look at the benefits of e-filing, and if it may be the best filing choice for your needs.

If you are Considering e-filing, some of the advantages include:

  1. Quick confirmation your forms have been obtained: The IRS will affirm a tax filing has been received within 24 hours of digital submission.  For paper filers, the IRS does not send any acknowledgment your forms have arrived . 

    Timely refunds: When you publish a paper filing, it may take six to eight months to receive a tax refund.  With e-filing, you’ll receive your money in three weeks or not.  Choosing direct deposit can also accelerate the refund process.

  2. Reduced likelihood of mistakes: In accordance with the IRS, there’s around a 1 percent error rate on e-filed yields, compared with a 20% speed of mistakes on paper filings.  The IRS also provides more information on problems discovered on e-filed returns compared with paper returns.

  3. Simple payment process: If you owe the IRS money, it is simpler to pay at your advantage when you e-file.  You can submit returns early and pay later if necessary, as long as you pay by the April 15 filing deadline.  And you can schedule electronic money transfers to send the IRS what you owe on a date of your choosing — again, provided that the IRS receives your payment by Tax Day. You also have the choice to pay your balance by making use of the IRS Immediate pay service from the checking or savings accounts, filing a credit card through a payment processor for a fee, or paying by check or money order.  Just be aware delaying payment following the filing due date (typically April 15) can lead to penalties and interest.

  4. Digital storage of taxation data: Submitting returns electronically implies there is an electronic backup of your tax records.  So if something happens to your paperwork, then you’ll have a digital backup.

The good news: Most taxpayers do opt to e-file and find those advantages — and the practice of doing so is easy.

You have four options for submitting an electronically filed tax return to the IRS.

  • Free File Fillable Forms — If your income is over $72,000 and you’re comfortable doing your earnings without any help, you can use Free File Fillable Forms from the IRS. The types do the math for you and offer standard advice.  You can simply do your federal return with these forms. 
  • Utilize an internet tax preparation service or tax applications: Tax prep software and online filing services are alternatives.  These options are a simple way to finish and e-file your forms.  Some applications providers charge for their apps, Some are liberated.   The program asks you simple questions about your own life and financing to guide you through the completion of your forms.  
  • Get complimentary, in-person tax help: In most states, you can find volunteers to help prepare and e-file returns.  But eligibility for free help is typically limited based on earnings, and some services cater to particular demographic groups.  The IRS maintains a database of authorized providers, but you should be aware this option is very likely to be the most costly one. 
  • Employing online tax prep software is far and away the preferred approach of most taxpayers.  In fact, the IRS says it expected more than four in five tax returns to be filed through tax return prep program.

    Is e-filing really stable?

    While e-filing is convenient, you may worry about safety — particularly with so many data breaches.  But experts agree this isn’t an issue that should deter you from e-filing.

    “In actuality, it can be more secure than paper filing since you’re sending your personal information through an encrypted network rather than exposing your information in the email.”

    Dennis Chow, vice president of data security at SCIS Security, explains that the IRS has set security measures in place to keep your information secure.  “Trainers normally use IRS particular APIs that require ab sessions,” Chow says.  “All of this is routed over TLS encrypted connections”

    It’s very important to employ a trusted service to help you record your taxes.  Chow advises not to e-file on a public computer or use an internet connection that is not confidential.

    Bottom line

    For many taxpayers, it makes sense to e-file a return since it’s the most convenient way to submit your tax information to the IRS and it allows for timely refunds and effortless payment options.  Just be certain to use tax planning software from a trusted source, so that you may ensure the information which you supply to transmit to the IRS will be kept secure.